Southern India is popular with tourists for its places of cultural and historical significance, temples, nature and wildlife. Visitors might want to organize the tours on their own. However, if organizing a tour on your own is overwhelming, then there are various tour operators you might want to try. You might want to consider the following set of cultural tours offered by an event management company, Alpcord Network. These tours can keep the accompanying families busy in and around Bangalore during the conference, and further afield after the conference. You can also combine nature tourism with cultural tourism by visiting the very popular wildlife resorts operated Jungle Lodges, and seeing cultural places on the way. All these tours may be especially attractive for family vacations. These are independently offered trips by outside companies, the BOB organisers and host institutions are not responsible for them. The tour options offered by these agencies are as follows:
NATURE TOURISM: Jungle Lodges is offering the following popular options:
1. Kabini River Lodge: Spend one or two days at the backwaters of Kabini, where you have a chance at encountering wild elephants, gaurs, leopards, tigers and Asiatic wild dogs, among other fascinating mammals and birds in the Nagarhole National Park, and visit temples and palaces in the historic, beautiful little town of Mysore on the way. Read more ...
2. Hampi-Daroji Wildlife Sanctuary: Visit Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the poignant ruins of the historial Vijayanagara Empire, along with Daroji Wildlife Sanctuary, home of the sloth bear, saw-scaled viper, and a fascinating diversity of endemic and charismatic birds such as the Indian peafowl and yellow-throated bulbul. Read more ...
3. Karwar-Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary: Look for birdwings, tree nymphs, atlas moths, hornbills, trogons, flycatchers and other rich Lepidoptera and bird fauna in the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats. This may also be an excellent opportunity to see an incredible endemic amphibian fauna of the Western Ghats. Visit the temples, forts and other historic sites along a charming coastline of northern Karnataka on the way. Read more ...
The above three trip options are offered by Jungle Lodges at discounted prices, and 25 rooms (10 rooms each at Kabini and Hampi, and five rooms at Old Magazine House) have been reserved for the BOB attendees at these wildlife resorts from June 16-18 (3 nights). These exclusive reserved rooms will be held until 10 March to give time for the delegates to plan and book their tours to these places. The unsold inventory will be released after 10 March, beyond which time you can still reserve rooms if they are available. Room reservations should be made directly with Jungle Lodges by contacting Ms. Shoba (email). Please mention in your email that you are attending the BOB conference to get the special discount (15% for the BOB delegates and accompanying persons). Ms. Shobha can suggest possible travel agents if required and the guests can get in touch with them directly for their travel arrangements.
CULTURAL TOURISM: Alpcord Network is offering the following tours:
BANGALORE CITY TOURS (1-day tours):
TOUR 01: GUIDED CITY TOUR: Bangalore city has lots to offer. Take a guided city tour. Visit Iskcon Temple, Tipu Palace, Lal Bagh Botanical Garden & Basavangaudi Big Bull Temple. Drive past of Vidhan Soudha & HigH Court & other important Government buildings.
TOUR 02: WALKING TOUR OF OLD CITY OF BANGALORE: Tour starts with the walking trail from K R Market – city’s oldest vegetable and flower market, and the largest wholesale market, considered to be one of the biggest flower markets in Asia. Then walk down to Bangalore Fort - the fort has provided the setting for the treasure hunt in the book Riddle of the Seventh Stone. Visit the busy Kote Anjaneya Swami Temple which stands across the fort. Lastly, walk down to Tipu’s Summer Palace - the structure was built entirely with teakwood and stands adorned with pillars, arches and balconies. The site also holds a painting of grand throne visualized by Tipu Sultan himself.
TOUR 03: NATURE WALK: AN UNHURRIED WALK IN THE URBAN HAVEN OF LALBAGH: Bangalore's most popular tourist destination is Lalbagh. Walk to discover the treasure that is Lalbagh, as you go through the sand, stone and waters of Lalbagh, Tipu Sultan's pleasure paradise! Commissioned by Hyder Ali and completed by Tipu Sultan, Lalbagh was the ruler's personal garden, a statement of power and extravagance. Around one of Kempe Gowda's towers, Lalbagh has since acquired a large range of horticultural samples, a beautiful glass house and India's first lawn-clock. Today, it is not just a botanical garden but is also one of the few green spaces left in the increasingly polluted 'garden city'.
SPECIAL INTEREST TOURS
TOUR 01: TIPU SULTAN TRAIL — The lair of the Tiger of Mysore. Forts. Palaces. Temples. Travel to Bangalore would never be complete without tracing the footsteps of the Sultan, who has left many a mark on the city's future, seen even today. We trace our journey of Tipu from the far edge of Bangalore city, at a medieval fort of Devanahalli. A small enclosed pillar close by marks the birthplace of Tipu Sultan. The other main presence of the Sultan was at his Summer Palace, which is the most popular of his heritage in Bangalore, though what remains is only a portion of a bigger complex. Close by is the fort gate which was breached by the English to break the defences of the Sultan fort by fort. Of course, the tour ends at his lair, his capital Srirangapatna, a sleepy laidback city today, a far cry from the capital of the Tiger of Mysore. While the physical remains of Tipu Sultan's life are dilapidated, the tales remain, as lively as it can ever be.
TOUR 02: WINE TASTING WITH LUNCH AT VINEYARD & NANDI HILL VISIT: This includes lunch, visit to winery, vineyard & wine tasting (5 Varietals). The entire tour will be conducted by a professional in respective areas. After a brief history and information about vines and vineyard cultivation followed by winery tour, wine tasting and lunch.
The above cultural tours are offered by Alpcord, bookings should be done directly with them by email. Also, feel free to explore other possibilities for tourism in southern India, there are lots of options.